Salvaging QuickTime 6 Pro

by Matthew Russell

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Although I wasn't one of the folks who purchased a new iMac G5 right before MWSF last week, I did purchase QuickTime Pro 6 not too long before Tiger came out. To my dismay (a much lesser dismay than someone who may have purchased a new iMac G5), my QT Pro 6 was nowhere to be found on Tiger. It was updated to version 7, that was that, and I was out of $30. Or so I thought; it's amazing what annoyances will drive people to do.

Earlier today, I was trying to watch a video, but QT 7 wouldn't put it in full screen without being upgraded to Pro. Right as my wallet almost came out of my pocket, I suddenly remembered something: why not copy QT 6 Pro off of an external drive that I had an old image of Panther on from last spring and see if it would play on Tiger?

It turns out that I was able to rename and copy it right into my Applications folder and get all of the Pro options just like old times. Under the About menu, I get this message: "QuickTime Version 7.0.3, Player Version 6.5.2". Works for me.

One thing it doesn't allow me to do, however, is download QuickTime movies (like movie trailers and things) from within a web browser. (I was hoping to grab a local copy of HOT HOT HOT, an amazing little gem I ran across earlier today. I'll leave it at that.) But in the end I still salvaged $20 or so of my initial $30, and that's better than nothing. I suppose I could use the external drive as a startup disk for the sole purpose of downloading QT videos, but that would be a bit much. I'd probably shell out another $30 before going to that length.

So until I desperately need something that QT 7 Pro offers that I'm not able to get with my perfectly good copy of QT 6 Pro, I think I'm going to hold off. I'm sure there are lots of great things that QT 7 Pro does that you can't get done in QT 6 Pro, but as someone who doesn't do much with video, I couldn't tell you what they are and haven't needed them yet. And heck, I wouldn't want to risk another $30 tonight anyway -- I could lose it again you know (but probably not tonight.)

Update: As a reader pointed out, it's also possible to snag the QT internet plugin (see discussion) to get back the ability to save files locally from within the browser (with one extra step.) So that amounts to salvaging $29 of $30 in my book.

Anyone out there have any particular uses for QT 7 Pro that QT 6 Pro isn't good enough for?


2006-01-13 20:04:48
7 over 6
"I'm sure there are lots of great things that QT 7 Pro does that you can't get done in QT 6 Pro"

Heh! Yeah, I don't think I share that faith :) Delighted to be proven wrong.

2006-01-13 20:31:35
Browser plugin?
I wonder whether the QT 6 version of the Browser plugin from "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins" on the Panther drive would behave the same way the QT app did....
2006-01-14 07:14:00
watch out for the qt 7.0.4 update...
The read me says it will disable the qt6 pro key.
2006-01-14 07:44:11
watch out for the qt 7.0.4 update...
Thanks for the heads up. I may make (yet another) clone of my drive before installing that update to see if it messes with the copy of the QT 6 Pro player, and if so, how it goes about doing it. Or I may opt not to install that update -- as I mentioned earlier, I've yet to identify a single thing that QT 7 Pro does that QT 6 Pro does I'm kind of feeling that same way about 7.0.4.

But like the first poster, I'd love to have someone make a good case for why 7 Pro is worth another $30.

2006-01-14 07:50:24
"Buy Mac OS! We have crippleware!"
Tsk. They can be such stingy sods at times.

But anyway, I find the below AppleScript fine for playing movies full-screen in QT Player. While the GUI is locked down until you spring some cash, the scripting interface isn't, so it'll work either way. Save it as an applet in Script Editor, then drag-n-drop one or more movie files onto it and you're away:

property _filesQueue : {}
property _currentlyPlaying : missing value

on nextMovieFile()
set theFile to _filesQueue's first item
set _filesQueue to rest of _filesQueue
return theFile
end nextMovieFile

on playNextMovie()
if _filesQueue is not {} then
tell application "QuickTime Player"
open my nextMovieFile() returning _currentlyPlaying
if _currentlyPlaying's class is list then -- QTP6 compatibility
set _currentlyPlaying to _currentlyPlaying's item 1
end if
set presentation size of _currentlyPlaying to screen
present _currentlyPlaying
on error eMsg
display dialog "Couldn't play item:
" & eMsg buttons {"Skip"} default button 1
my playNextMovie()
end try
end tell
end if
end playNextMovie


on run
display dialog "Drag one or more movie files onto this applet
to play them in sequence." buttons {"OK"} default button 1
end run

on open filesList
if _currentlyPlaying is missing value then
set _filesQueue to filesList
else -- do not disturb while playing
end if
end open

on idle
tell application "QuickTime Player"
if exists _currentlyPlaying then
if not playing of _currentlyPlaying then
close _currentlyPlaying
my playNextMovie()
end if
my playNextMovie()
end if
end tell
on error eMsg
display dialog "QuickTime Player errored:
" & eMsg buttons {"Quit"} default button 1
end try
return 1
end idle

on quit
set _filesQueue to {}
set _currentlyPlaying to missing value
continue quit
end quit

Or you could use an alternative player like VLC ( which can do full-screen with nary a nag in sight.


2006-01-14 08:16:28
It works!
You are a smart fellow. Last night the same thought crossed my mind, but I must have looked in ~/Library instead of /Library by mistake, because I recall not seeing the plugin (despite my suspicions that it should exist)...then I thought the work might have been done through the QT framework, so I gave up.

But with your works like a charm! (with a possible caveat)

After going back to the amazing little gem I mentioned in my post, I was pleased to see that the QT Pro options were indeed in place again (make sure you restart your web browser after making the swap though). When I saved the file locally, however, it was just a little 4k stub. But since pro allows you to export to other formats, I just opted to export the file as an mp4, and after a minute or two, BAM!, I had the full 4MB file sitting there on my desktop.

So heck, maybe I actually salvaged $29 of my $30 investment for QT Pro 6. (The $1 being lost to the extra step incurred with the export to another format).

Thanks for that idea!

2006-01-14 08:21:12
"Buy Mac OS! We have crippleware!"
Wow. Now that is a sweet script and works as advertised. I saved it as an app, dragged a movie onto it, and it works as advertised. Good stuff.
2006-01-15 11:58:01
7 over 6
There is exactly ONE great thing 7 gives you over 6: encoding H.264 in a friendly menu rather than having to work out a script to do the same. I support the Mac platform, but paying $30 again is ridiculous. I snagged a code from some site in eastern europe instead.
2006-01-16 10:12:48
Really such a great idea?
I guess I don't mind paying for a set of codec license fees, since I work with media and I've seen what the world looks like when you only support free codecs (it's not pretty... it's boring). I don't begrudge Apple for monetizing QuickTime for power users. It's a lot more defensible than the wildly overpriced .Mac. Granted, disabling the "full screen" feature is the one odd thing about QT Pro - everything else in Pro has to do with media creation and editing.

But the thing that so few people understand is that "Pro" only affects the QuickTime Player and the browser plug-in. The QuickTime libraries are fully functional, whether or not you're pro. Take a look at Elliotte Rusty Harold's "QuickTime Amateur" project - - which is a re-implementation of most of QuickTime Player in Java, with no "Pro" limitations.

I also wonder if you're not going to miss some of the QT7 functionality someday, like the iPod-format video exports.

2006-02-01 18:45:02
What about us poor bastards stuck on OS 10.2 and QT 6.5.3? Unless I buy the OS upgrade, I can't buy QT Pro, even though I want to. Apple is only selling the QT 7 Pro registration, as far as I can tell. Or am I just dumb?
Adam Abrams
2006-03-12 18:15:27
I just upgraded to Tiger, and thought I'd lost my QT 6 Pro functionality forever, when I tracked down your article. However, my old QT Player still doesn't give me the Pro features, even though the Get Info message ("QuickTime Version 7.0.3, Player Version 6.5.2") is the same. Any idea why this might be? Thanks!
Tom Ford
2006-03-23 15:24:18
I have Windows 98 and want to save a 360 Panorama that I created but I need Quicktime Pro 6 for Windows and Apple won't distribute that anymore. I have programs that won't work if I "upgrade" my Windows program. Any ideas how I can get Quicktime Pro 6 for Windows?